Taxpayers receive another hike: Lyford schools increase rate 4 cents

LYFORD — For the second time in two years, property owners will see their tax bills go up.

The Lyford school board has approved a 4-cent property tax increase, raising the district’s tax rate from $1.28 to $1.32 per $100 valuation.

The 4-cent increase will generate $219,215 to help pay an $865,000 bond payment stemming from the construction of Lyford Elementary School and Lyford Middle School in the mid-1990s, according to Business Manager Elisa Rosas.

The property tax increase comes along with a new $17.8 million budget approved Tuesday night.

The budget comes with a $5.9 million cash reserve fund.

As part of the budget, board members approved a $224,000 package of pay raises to the district’s approximately 200 employees, Rosas said.

As part of the package, teachers and administrators will receive 1.5-percent salary increases while clerks and auxiliary workers will see 2-percent raises.

The budget, which maintains current staffing levels, will earmark $982,000 toward construction of a $1.2 million ag barn.

It’s the second time in two years the district has increased its tax rate.

In 2014, the school board raised the tax rate from $1.22 to $1.28 per $100 valuation.

At the time, Superintendent Eduardo Infante said officials recommended a tax hike to help offset falling property values.

Rosas said the district has raised its tax rate as a result of state funding cuts.

“We’ve got to make ends meet,” she said.

What this means to you?

A property owner with a home appraised at $150,000 would pay $1,920 at the $1.28 tax rate.

Under the new rate, that same person with the same appraisal will pay $1,980.

A 4-cent increase equates to an additional $20 for every $50,000 of appraised value.